I am level 1 and 2 trained in yoga for trauma and resiliency. When you experience chronic stress or trauma, your nervous system is affected and can sometimes get stuck in states that don’t allow you to respond flexibly and dynamically to what is actually happening in the present moment. A healthy nervous system is flexible and dynamic. It responds according to the actual demands and changing energetic workloads of the present moment.
An example of your nervous system not responding according to the actual demands of the present moment is when you get triggered, and one seemingly small thing makes you totally lose it (even if you only lose it on the inside). Another clue that you are suffering from chronic stress or anxiety is when you always feel on and you can no longer relax. Sleep and digestion are often the first things you notice being affected.
Yoga and the Nervous System
Yoga is an incredibly effective way to help reset the nervous system and restore its natural flexibility. Yoga helps you reconnect your body and mind through a focus on your breath and intentionally linking your breath with specific movements. It is a tool that can help you to restore the natural fluidity between rest and activity, contracting and expanding, and to commit fully to each.
Yoga For Anxiety
Yoga is a natural way of relieving anxiety, and it both helps decrease activation in the amgydala (the part of your brain responsible for interpreting danger and starting the fight or flight response) as you are practicing, and lower the baseline activation in the amygdala with consistent practice. This means less anxiety in the moment, and less anxiety overall.
Yoga for Trauma
Anxiety and panic are often unwelcome companions long after the trauma is over in time. Trauma can also cut you off from awareness of your own body. Yoga not only helps to calm anxiety, but it can help you to feel more connected to your body in a gradual way that doesn’t overwhelm you. It can help you to feel embodied again. Trauma sensitive yoga simply means incorporating an awareness of the profound effect trauma has on the body into the yoga interventions we use in session. It means harnessing all the power of yoga and using it to a specific end: to help your body resolve the traumatic experiences that still live on inside of it and to restore the body to its natural rhythm and balance.
“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy it can contain”
— Kahlil Gibran